Mental health: how to manage stress in a post-Covid world
“It is interesting to note that this is not the fear of covid-19 virus itself, but the new normal that people have unknowingly embraced in order to break the chain of viral spread,” Dr Chawla said.
Uncertainty has been one of the root causes of stress at all levels. Students and housewives are not left out. The return to school/college has also overwhelmed students and parents with anxiety and fear of catching the virus.
It is important to understand the coping mechanisms to deal with stress and to manage it effectively if it cannot be rid of.
I. Manage feelings
Acknowledge how you feel
It is important that you are honest with your feelings. Journaling can be one of the best ways to record your innermost thoughts and feelings.
When writing down your thoughts, label anything that worries you with negativity. Talk to your most trusted friend or confide in a counselor. Be gentle with yourself. Don’t judge yourself.
Acceptance of uncertainty
While we all like to have control over every situation in our lives, that’s not always the case. The pandemic, moreover, was off limits.
Nobody knew that would leave no room for planning things in advance. Uncertainties are part of life.
Preparing to have a placid mind through the ups and downs no matter how things go is key. Remember that it is normal not to be in control of the situation.
II. Ways to stay calm
Do some physical activity
The sedentary lifestyle can be the worst plague. According to ACSM’s Health and Fitness Journal.
Some recommended physical activities include jogging, skipping, dancing, sports, using stairs, playing with children/pets. Doing physical activity or exercise helps release dopamine and serotonin that alleviate stress, suggest various sources, including Exercise and Sport Sciences Review.
Also, it can stimulate the cardiovascular, digestive and immune systems.
Have a balanced diet. Cut down on junk food or fried foods. Include citrus fruits in your diet.
According to the book titled “Post-harvest Biology and Technology of Tropical and Subtropical Fruits”, due to their high vitamin C content, citrus fruits provide many benefits, including boosting immunity, strengthening collagen, and reducing vitamin C. anemia and stress.
Six to seven hours of restful sleep is very important for overcoming stress. But ironically there is a link between sleep and stress. It’s hard to get quality sleep when you’re stressed.
And sleep deprivation can lead to cardiovascular disease, other comorbidities, memory loss, poor concentration, and even driving safety issues.
Exercising optimally and eating on time will surely help release stress, which in turn will aid in getting the right amount of sleep.
Basking in the sun for at least 20 minutes every day will not only provide you with your natural vitamin D, but will also help you stave off stress and depression. Did you know that sunlight increases your serotonin and keeps seasonal affective disorder (SAD) at bay?
According to a study conducted by researchers at Brigham Young University, “increased mental distress was found during periods of reduced sunlight hours.”
With the resulting lockdowns and infrequent encounters, many felt cut off from their herd.
But one can still be part of online communities and communicate with friends and people through video calls or join online forums on their area of interest – be it a book club or a hobby.
Spend quality time with family. Read, watch cartoons, cook, declutter (did you know decluttering is a great stress reliever?), and play with kids or pets.
take time for me
Meditate. the little time for me gives you the window for introspection and connection with your inner self. Yoga and deep breathing work equally well with multiple health benefits. Keep your senses away from indulgences.
Watching too much television or the mobile phone is a form of pleasure for the eyes! Journal to reflect on how you are feeling better day by day.
Limit digital activity
Limit exposure to news and updates. Use social media sparingly. Master your thoughts and keep your purpose before you go too far in your thoughts.
Be creative and use the expressive arts. The pandemic has undoubtedly triggered the side effects in the form of stress on a global scale, but the cure is well within our means. With the tips above, you would know that overcoming stress is never too difficult.
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